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The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales Hardcover – Oct 1 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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  • The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales
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  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (Oct. 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067084487X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670844876
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 1 x 27.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

If geese had graves, Mother Goose would be rolling in hers. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales retells--and wreaks havoc on--the allegories we all thought we knew by heart. In these irreverent variations on well-known themes, the ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck, and the princess who kisses the frog wins only a mouthful of amphibian slime. The Stinky Cheese Man deconstructs not only the tradition of the fairy tale but also the entire notion of a book. Our naughty narrator, Jack, makes a mockery of the title page, the table of contents, and even the endpaper by shuffling, scoffing, and generally paying no mind to structure. Characters slide in and out of tales; Cinderella rebuffs Rumpelstiltskin, and the Giant at the top of the beanstalk snacks on the Little Red Hen. There are no lessons to be learned or morals to take to heart--just good, sarcastic fun that smart-alecks of all ages will love.

From Publishers Weekly

Grade-school irreverence abounds in this compendium of (extremely brief) fractured fairy tales, which might well be subtitled "All Things Gross and Giddy." With a relentless application of the sarcasm that tickled readers of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs , Scieszka and Smith skewer a host of juvenile favorites: Little Red Running Shorts beats the wolf to grandmother's house; the Really Ugly Duckling matures into a Really Ugly Duck; Cinderumpelstiltskin is "a girl who really blew it." Text and art work together for maximum comic impact--varying styles and sizes of type add to the illustrations' chaos, as when Chicken Licken discovers that the Table of Contents, and not the sky, is falling. Smith's art, in fact, expands upon his previous waggery to include increased interplay between characters, and even more of his intricate detail work. The collaborators' hijinks are evident in every aspect of the book, from endpapers to copyright notice. However, the zaniness and deadpan delivery that have distinguished their previous work may strike some as overdone here. This book's tone is often frenzied; its rather specialized humor, delivered with the rapid-fire pacing of a string of one-liners, at times seems almost mean-spirited. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Making use of every bookflap, endpaper, table of contents, flyleaf, and ISBN box, Jon Scieszka (go on...pronounce it) and Lane Smith teamed up to bring us the picture book that gives kids a lot more credit than most. Many adults will sit their little ones down with the same boring fairy tales with the same boring fairy tale lessons. Kids like fairy tales, no question, but kids also love the subversive. So if you hand them a book like, "The Stinky Cheese Man", that undermines everything fairy tales stand for, the children will fall on their knees in praise.
The book is a madcap collection of dismembered tales and stories. Didn't much care for the ending of the original "Ugly Duckling"? Well here's your chance to see the real (and realistic) finale to the tale. Think "Little Red Riding Hood" could be pepped up a bit by calling it, "Little Red Running Shorts"? Go wild. Scieszka is one of those rare authors that know exactly how to get little kids in stitches without resorting to the usual scatological humor and innuendo. This book is one wild ride. Characters frequently break through the fourth wall to confront the reader directly. There's a mixing and melding to the book, sometimes ending with the untimely demise of boring or annoying characters. I think it is safe to say that prior to reading this story, I had never had the pleasure of watching Foxy Loxy get pummeled by a book's Table of Contents. So thank you, Mr. Scieszka.
But thanking Scieszka without tipping one's hat to Lane Smith is like feeding bananas to buffalos. It just doesn't make sense. Smith is every bit up to the task of matching Scieszka feather to feather and foul to foul on this intrepid fairy tale adventure.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so happy when I first read this book. Many smiles, lots of laughs, and even a fair amount of out loud laughing. I still laugh at the thing, and I've been reading it since it was published. These are wonderfully witty and intelligently done destructions of fairy tales, with an incredible visual backdrop of artwork and fontwork. This is definitely for the more intelligent and/or culturally aware and/or 'worldly' child, since the humor, like Monty Python humor, would be lost on a child or adult who hasn't had much cultural/intellectual/artistic depth in their education/experience.
ONe of my favorites is the very straightford "Ugly Duckling" retelling, wherein the <spolier alert> ugly duckling just grows up into an ugly duck. And the Jack and Beanstalk retelling is very clever, and requires some thought to get a handle on it.
The beauty of this book is not just the artwork, the writing, and the fontwork, but also that you can give it to a small child, a teenager, or an adult, and be equally appropriate. Very much like Rocky and Bullwinkle or The Simpsons or Shakespeare, that plays so well for all stages of development.
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Format: Hardcover
Our family came at this a little bit sideways. We picked up The Book That Jack Wrote first, mostly because the paintings by Daniel Adel are absolutely
extraordinary, though the rhyme, by Jon Scieszka, based on the classic The House that Jack Built, is fun too. Then I realized that Mr. Scieszka was the author
of both The Stinky Cheese Man, which you often see on recommended book lists, and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, which several other authors of
childrens' books had chosen as one of their favorites in Salon Magazine several years ago. So now we own all three and read them almost every night.
It's somewhat absurd that we refer to the use of self-reference and the ironic blend of fact and fiction within fiction as post-modern, since such elements were
used in one of the first novels ever written, Don Quijote, and have never gone terribly far out of fashion since. Nor is childrens' literature a stranger to these
techniques, as a generation of parents who were raised on Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales can well attest. But Mr. Scieszka is an adept practitioner of the
style and it does tend to make kids' books easier for adults to read and enjoy.
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs is written from the perspective of Alexander T. Wolf as he explains that the whole story is really just a big
misunderstanding, mostly the result of sensationalistic journalism. Meanwhile, The Stinky Cheese Man is a rather more pungent version of the Gingerbread
Man, who can't even get anyone to run, run, run as fast as they can to catch him because of the awful stench he gives off. The illustrations in these two, by
Lane Smith, are less stunning than those by Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
This children's book is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek retelling of noted fairy tales. When I first read this book I laughed and laughed (I'm over 50); but, I said to myself that little children (certainly in the age group given by the publisher and the professional reviewers) would miss most of the humor. And preschoolers would be even less able to see the humor. Thus, I began to agree with the other customer reviewers who only gave the book one or two stars. But, notice that I gave the book five stars. Look at the other comments. And look at the responses you see from children that you may come in contact with. Children really enjoy the lampooning of tales they have heard thousands of time. Let us not forget that children tend to be smarter than we may think! Lampooning has always been popular (I really don't understand the comments made by an earlier adult reviewer who thought the book was simply stupid). One of the most hilarious tales of ancient Greece was a lampoon of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" by Pigres entitled "The Battle of the Frogs and Mice" (also known as "Batrachomyomachia"). The humor of lampoons seem to be "over-the-head" of some adults but not over-the-head of most children! This children's book was illustrated by Lane Smith and it was a 1993 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children.
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